Welcome to the DII faculty basketball end-of-year extravaganza. We lastly have two new nationwide champions, which simply so occur to be the previous nationwide champions.
In a 12 months of a lot weirdness, at the very least the Northwest Missouri State males’s workforce and Lubbock Christian Girl Chaps gave us a bit normalcy.
I’ll have a look again at 9 spectacular takeaways from the championship runs, in addition to run down the ultimate DII males’s and girls’s Energy 10 rankings. However first, make sure you recap the thrilling moments from the boys’s match proper right here and girls’s match proper right here.
And don’t be concerned, you DII fanatics. We’ll take an excellent fast look across the DII baseball diamond and a few loopy numbers from the DII soccer subject as effectively. It is all proper right here on this week’s DII Report.
Remaining DII faculty basketball Energy 10 rankings
We made it, followers. A season like no different, however we have been capable of get by a condensed match and crown some nationwide champions. Let’s check out the ultimate high 10 rankings for each the boys’s and girls’s groups.
As a reminder, these are my rankings. And please observe, making the Elite Eight doesn’t essentially get a workforce ranked increased than others, however we’ll get to that in a bit… and I am positive you may yell at me.
Remaining males’s Energy 10:
1. Northwest Missouri State: Actually? You want a proof right here? Okay, how’s this: three losses the previous three years and two nationwide championships. As of this writing, the whole beginning 5 might be again.
2. West Texas A&M: The Buffs received a thriller within the semifinals, and misplaced to Northwest Missouri State within the finals by 26. These Bearcats have been a steamroller although, and that loss does not take a single factor away from this workforce’s rating. Qua Grant and Joel Murray are two of the perfect within the recreation.
3. Northern State: See my observe above. I do not care one iota that the Wolves weren’t within the Elite Eight. That recreation towards the Bearcats was the most effective of the previous decade and that squad was nearly as good as any within the nation. They proved it repeatedly.
4. Lincoln Memorial: Issues might be completely different subsequent 12 months, however I am glad the Railsplitters received to placed on a present this season one final time below head coach Josh Schertz, who’s now heading to Indiana State. That they had an actual likelihood to go the gap in final 12 months’s early ending season and confirmed this 12 months that it was no fluke.
5. Flagler: I am impressed. I used to be admittedly the low man on Flagler all 12 months, retaining them out of the Energy 10 too typically, and for that I used to be fallacious. This workforce did not relent from opening tip to the Elite Eight. Not solely did the Saints make the primary Elite Eight in program historical past, they picked up a win there over a really robust Truman workforce. Jaizec Lottie was one in all — if not the — breakout star of 2021.
6. West Liberty: Yep, I used to be tremendous excessive on the Hilltoppers within the preseason, and I nonetheless am in March. This workforce took down No. 15 Charleston (WV) after which No. 9 Hillsdale by a mixed 34 factors (that is 17 factors a recreation, people) to advance to the Elite Eight. Positive, they received beat fairly huge by Northwest Missouri State to finish the season, however who did not?
7. Truman: A one-point loss to our No. 5 workforce within the Elite Eight tells you all you should know in regards to the Bulldogs. This workforce was deep, as all 5 starters completed the season averaging double-digits in scoring. It was Truman’s first journey to the Elite Eight this millennium, one other testomony to its robust season.
8. Colorado College of Mines: That protection was so good all 12 months till it bumped into Lincoln Memorial within the Elite Eight. However to be honest, the Railsplitters offense was the most effective within the nation. Mines had three losses all 12 months they usually have been to top-five nationally ranked groups. That is not too shabby.
9. Daemen: The Wildcats lastly overcame St. Thomas Aquinas in a thriller and Andrew Sischo lastly received an opportunity to play within the Elite Eight. Regardless of a 16-point loss to West Texas A&M within the Elite Eight, the elite huge man put an exclamation level on an impressive profession with a 29-point, 16-rebound efficiency.
10. Hillsdale: I used to be very excessive on Mercyhurst all season lengthy, and the Chargers broke down one of many nation’s finest defenses in a powerful 19-point, second-round victory. This workforce was deep and performed very effectively on each ends of the ground. Their season fell simply wanting the Elite Eight, however are worthy of the top-10 rating.
Remaining girls’s Energy 10:
1. Lubbock Christian: The Girl Chaps are merely outstanding. They simply preserve rolling alongside, posting an undefeated run to a different nationwide title. It does not matter who’s again subsequent 12 months, Steve Gomez has created the DII benchmark program and the Girl Chaps might be a menace as soon as once more.
2. Drury: What are you able to say in regards to the Girl Panthers? New coach, new star participant, identical outcomes. Can a workforce be a dynasty with out profitable a nationwide title? That is a troublesome reply, however Drury has definitely made a case with simply three losses and two journeys to at the very least the nationwide semifinals up to now three seasons.
3. Central Missouri: I had the Jennies out and in of the Energy 10 all season, they usually confirmed us why when it mattered most. I’ve stated it a bunch of instances, MIAA girls’s basketball is extremely deep with a few of the finest groups within the nation beating up on one another often. That you must throw out the report and take a look at the tip outcome: Ranked No. 20 by the WBCA, the Jennies took down the No. 9, No. 10 and No. 14-ranked workforce to get to the semifinals.
4. Lander: This workforce was spectacular from begin to end. Having to play North Georgia thrice in a season speaks to that. The Bearcats avenged the PBC championship recreation loss with a 67-48 victory within the South Area closing towards their convention rival. Zamiya Passmore and Makaila Cange performed at an elite stage all season.
5. Charleston (WV): The Golden Eagles have been positive enjoyable to observe this 12 months. Brooklyn Pannell and Erykah Russell placed on a present each night time. They opened the season with a program-record 13-game profitable streak and have become the primary Mountain East workforce in its historical past, albeit temporary, to characterize the convention within the Elite Eight. That is a heck of a season proper there.
6. Daemen: On the DII girls’s basketball choice present, I stated that regardless of being seeded No. 2 within the area, it was the Wildcats’ to lose. Since they got here by, it deserves them the No. 6 rating within the closing Energy 10. The Wildcats have been the primary ECC workforce since 2017 and simply fourth ever to make the Elite Eight and like their male counterparts, it was the primary look in program historical past.
7. North Georgia: Like Northern State, the Nighthawks have been victims of circumstance. Not making the Elite Eight was not any indication on their workforce, it simply so occurred that two of the perfect groups in DII performed in the identical area. PBC freshman of the 12 months Caroline Martin has North Georgia poised for a attainable redemption tour in 2022.
8. Fort Hays State: The Tigers received the MIAA, and also you already know my ideas on that convention in girls’s basketball. Solely one in all 4 excellent groups and two superb ones have been going to make it to the Elite Eight in its area, so Fort Hays State’s final success can’t be judged by how far it went. Jaden Hobbs led a stable squad all season that was a troublesome out each time it stepped on the courtroom.
9. Belmont Abbey: The Crusaders lastly captured that Convention Carolina’s title after falling simply brief the previous few seasons and locked up a bid to the match. From there, they rolled to the Elite Eight on the heels of two double-digit victories. Maria Kuhlman, Brittany Autry and Allie Downing have been a sensational “Huge Three” all season lengthy.
10. Azusa Pacific: This was a troublesome one, as Nebraska-Kearney and Minnesota Duluth have been very deserving and I flip-flopped each out and in. However the Cougars took out undefeated Hawaii Pacific within the first spherical earlier than dispatching Westminster (UT) within the West Area closing. That earned them their second straight journey to the Elite Eight regardless of having a really completely different workforce. To me, that is only a signal of a powerhouse and earns them the ultimate spot in 2021.
9 takeaways from the DII faculty basketball tournaments
1. A 12 months like no different ends the identical in DII males’s basketball. The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats rolled to their second straight title. If you wish to know the way spectacular that’s, it’s the first program to take action since Cal State Bakersfield in 1993-94. This present run has been duplicated by few at ay stage, with three titles up to now 4 tries.
2. The identical might be stated for Lubbock Christian, which received its second straight title on the ladies’s aspect. The place can we begin with the checklist of impressiveness by the Girl Chaps?
- Since changing into a DII-eligible establishment in 2016, LCU has received three of the final 5 tournaments performed.
- There have been 5 undefeated champions in the whole historical past of DII girls’s basketball, and Lubbock Christian is now two of them… once more, in 5 years of existence on the DII stage.
- Th Girl Chaps have been Lone Star Convention champions final 12 months and the No. 1 seed within the South Central when play was cancelled. We will solely surprise what was missed there.
3. The Daemen Wildcats have been the one program represented on each the boys’s and girls’s aspect of the Elite Eight bracket. It was the primary look for every. That’s the feel-good story we would have liked in a 12 months like this. Lubbock Christian fell simply brief as the boys’s workforce misplaced within the South Central closing to West Texas A&M.
4. West Texas A&M made its third straight journey to the Elite Eight and if Qua Grant and Joel Murray are again subsequent 12 months, there’s little motive the Buffs will not contend for a fourth. Zach Toussaint offered probably the most memorable second of the Elite Eight along with his first made basket of the semifinals win.
5. Trevor Hudgins will get a whole lot of love for the Bearcats and rightfully so, however it is a Ryan Hawkins appreciation put up. The massive man averaged 27.7 factors and 11.7 rebounds within the Elite Eight, together with posting a double-double within the first half of the championship recreation. It is protected to say the Bearcats have been thrilled to listen to he has determined to return for an additional season.
6. As a result of one-year regional realignment, we have been handled to a rematch of the 2019 championship recreation within the South Central regional closing. That is a feat distinctive in itself, and with issues hopefully again to a traditional world subsequent March, doubtless will not ever occur once more. Because it was in ’19, Lubbock Christian defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State, besides this time, it did not want two overtimes to take action.
7. This was a lesson that ought to have been realized way back — by no means depend Ashland out in March. A really new-look girls’s Eagles workforce that dominated DII girls’s hoops for a number of years was a seven-loss squad that naturally discovered their technique to the GLIAC finals. Regardless of shedding, the Eagles earned an at-large bid after which upset No. 4 Grand Valley State after which No. 1 Michigan Tech earlier than falling to Drury within the regional finals, falling one recreation wanting yet one more Elite Eight look.
8. It was a troublesome 12 months to be a No. 1 seed, however wasn’t that type of anticipated in a 12 months of a lot uncertainty? Simply three made it to the Elite Eight on each the boys’s (West Texas A&M, Flagler and Truman) and girls’s (Lubbock Christian, Charleston (WV) and Belmont Abbey) aspect. Seven No. 2 seeds superior to the Elite Eight on the boys’s and girls’s brackets. On the flip aspect, nary a No. 5 or 6 seed made the Elite Eight, with not a single six seed showing in a regional closing.
9. There have been 48 groups in every bracket for a complete of 96 groups. I believe I’m joined by many in saying that we hope to by no means see such a small subject once more, however are grateful to each one in all them for following protocols and making this factor a actuality. It positive was a very long time coming.
Across the horn — DII baseball fashion
That is going to be a really temporary week, however the huge information is with the DII males’s and girls’s basketball season within the books, we will formally welcome the primary DII baseball Energy 10 of the season subsequent week. NCAA.com’s personal Brenden Welper might be taking up the DII softball Energy 10 this season, so prepare for these as effectively.
As a refresher course, you’ll be able to take a look at our full preseason high 25 by clicking right here, or watching the breakdown with NCAA.com’s Michella Chester under.
Now, a number of fast highlights:
- Missouri Southern’s Tommy Stevenson set a program report with six hits in Recreation 2 of a double-header on Saturday. Two have been doubles, one was a house run and the catcher drove in six.
- Augustana (SD)’s Tanner Brown tossed an ideal recreation on Saturday. Brown struck out 11 in recording the Vikings second good recreation in program historical past, the primary coming again in 2000.
- West Georgia’s Dan Oberst joined the three-home run membership on March 24, now the eighth participant in DII to take action in 2021. He drove in six on the day.
- How about Joshua Goldstein’s Opening Day for Southern New Hampshire? The Penmen lastly returned to the diamond and Goldstein swiped 5 stolen bases within the victory. That ties the very best single-game complete of the season.
DII soccer by the numbers
Hooray for an additional week of DII soccer. Let’s breakdown the weekend with a few of the most spectacular stats.
2 — Receiving touchdowns by Findlay’s Marlin Richardson. The receiver had an enormous day, reeling in 129 yards on 5 receptions because the Oilers scoring machine continues to roll. Fort Valley State’s Shemar Bridges solely had one landing, however put up a powerful 158 yards in a victory over Shorter.
4 — Speeding touchdowns by Tiffin’s Marcus Davis because the Dragons improved to 2-0 on the season.
5 — Wins Texas-Permian Basin recorded to conclude its spring soccer slate. Extra impressively, the Falcons had no losses, their first good run ever. How did they do it? How about by going for 2 in extra time to seal the deal?
Relive the thrill of the landing in extra time and the 2-point conversion to seal an undefeated spring for @UTPBFootball. The Falcons completed the spring 5-0 of their fifth season and now received 6 straight general! pic.twitter.com/4JOXOFN42J
— UTPB Athletics (@utpbfalcons) March 28, 2021
43.5 — Charleston (WV)’s common factors per recreation. The Golden Knights improved to 2-0 with a 42-24 victory on Saturday.
417 — Yards put up by Rogan Wells as Tusculum rolled to its second-straight W. He additionally threw for 2 touchdowns and rushed for an additional. He was one of some quarterbacks to have monster days on Saturday:
- Tim Heltzel, Glenville State — 352 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Jack Mangel, Harmony — 310 yards, 5 touchdowns
- Josh Jones, Charleston — 316 yards, 2 touchdowns